Volkswagen has officially opened its third production company in Africa, and the first one in Kenya, after South Africa and Nigeria, which is set to create employment for many people both directly and indirectly.
The new plant was officially opened by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the German automaker’s CEO Dr. Herbert Diess at the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers assembly in Thika. The president was also given a chance to unveil the first vehicle that has been manufactured locally dubbed the Polo Vivo. The Volkswagen Kenya Polo Vivo car will retail at 1.65 Million shillings.
During the launch, Herbert Diess disclosed that apart from job creation, plans are in place to industrialize the economy of Kenya. “After over 60 years of Volkswagen vehicle production in South and North Africa, I am delighted to now have a further site in Kenya. We will systematically continue to develop our position in the fast-growing African car market,” he added.
Dr Diess noted that Kenya’s growing economy offers great business opportunities, excellent training education system with an excellent market potential of about 350,000 passenger cars per year.
“In Kenya, we shall start with assembling the Apolo Vivo, the most successful passenger car in sub-Saharan Africa. It is robust, affordable and has a superb service inclusive of a comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty,” he said.
In addition to vehicle production, Volkswagen will be offering Kenyan customers a comprehensive package including a manufacturer’s guarantee as well as a maintenance and service plan. Financing schemes will be developed together with local banks in order to allow individual mobility and to provide Volkswagen with the impetus it needs for its re-entry to the Kenyan market.
The joint project is a joint venture with DT Dobie in the initial phase, annual production of up to 1,000 vehicles is planned. In the long term, it will be possible to produce up to 5,000 units per year at the plant of Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers. The assembly facility is flexibly designed and offers the possibility of investigating the production of further models in the event of positive developments in the new car market. In addition, the Volkswagen Group recently announced plans to start vehicle production in Algeria.